Certain automotive formulas work for some automakers. Porsche has its 911, Ford has the Mustang, BMW (of course) the 3-Series and for Nissan it’s the Z. Build a good car that is fun to drive, back it with a loyal customer base and the model line is set for a long lifespan – 43 years in the case of the Nissan sport coupe.
“Since the original 1970 Z was first introduced our goal has always been to keep the design moving forward. The changes for 2013, though subtle, go a long way in enhancing its dynamic appearance inside and out,” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc.
There is only one engine offered in the Z but it comes with a choice of gearboxes for the driving enthusiast. While I personally lean more towards the automatics there are many manual transmission fans around the globe and Nissan offers a pretty cool technology behind its six gear slushbox in the form of “SynchroRev Match,” the world’s first synchronized downshift rev-matching manual transmission. This system automatically gives you the downshift throttle blips making you look and sound like a pro driver instantly.
Whether you opt for the manual or the seven-speed automatic gearbox, Nissan’s peppy 332hp 3.7-liter V-6, mounted in a front mid-ship location for enhanced vehicle balance, will fetch 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway via rear-wheel drive.
Nissan places vented disc brakes at each corner for superior stopping power and the Z rides on standard 18-inch alloy wheels or as in the case of our Touring tester with Sport package, a set of very stylish 19-inch RAYS alloys shod with sport rubber. The Sport package also brought a viscous limited-slip rear differential and sport brakes to the car along with Euro-tuned sport shocks.
Lightweight suspension components at each corner keeps unsprung weight to a minimum for optimal balance and the standard front strut tower brace adds the vehicle’s rigidity during spirited driving.
During the times your driving experience is not enough to keep you and your (sole) passenger entertained the 370Z offers a host of technology including a very nice Bose audio system with two subwoofers, SiriusXM satellite and MP3/WMA playback, USB connectivity and iPod connection, and Bluetooth Streaming Audio.
Our loaded tester also featured the Nissan Hard Drive Nav system with 7-inch touch screen, NavTraffic, and NavWeather.
The latest 370Z was all-new for the 2009 model year but gets a few touch-ups for 2013 including upgrades to the front and rear fascia as well as an awesome new body color that our tester arrived in – Magma Red – which is just stunning in the sunlight.
Despite its sporty heritage and equipment, the Z is quite comfortable on the road. It is a sports coupe and does require more athleticism during ingress and egress than say the Nissan Murano crossover that is the tradeoff of owning a sports car.
The car rides great and handles very well and offers a healthy exhaust note when teasing the accelerator. There is a bit of a blind spot in the rear pillars and rear vision is a bit diminished by the sheer design of the car but for drivers who would rather lead than follow this will not be a problem.
Pricing for the 2013 Nissan 370Z Coupe in Touring trim begins at $37,820. Our test model came with the Sport and Navigation packages and arrived with a final sticker of $43,905.